best single serve coffee maker

I had my first single-serve-coffee while visiting my aunt Vivian at her corporate office in Boston during my summer break a few years ago. I still remember that special feeling of having a cup of coffee brewed just for me. Single-serve coffee is now my go-to-choice on weekday mornings.

aunt-vivian-boston

If you are thinking to get a single serve coffee maker, let me share with you my research on these convenient, time-saving and money-saving coffee makers for various budgets and options.

What is single serve coffee maker?

A single-serve coffee maker is a coffee machine that brews a single portion of coffee typically in a cup size of 6 oz., 8 oz. and 10 oz. Typically the ground coffee is packed and sealed in an individual coffee container (called pods or capsule). You save time by not having to grind and measure the coffee. And, you get the correct ratio of ground coffee to brew a perfect cup. Next, you insert the pod/capsule, choose your cup size (6, 8 or 10oz.), press a button, you get your cup of coffee (8 oz.) in less than 1 minute. As you can see, single serve coffee is convenient, fast and consistent to brew a cup of quality coffee every time.

Pros and Cons of single serve coffee maker

PROS
  • Convenience. You can brew barista quality coffee yourself without having to stop by at coffee house before going in to work.
  • Saves money. It costs more to get your daily cup of coffee from a coffee house.
  • Saves time – no need to measure your coffee grounds.
  • Save time to brew – typically a minute for each 8 oz. cup
  • Everyone gets what they want – 4 friends with 4 different choices of flavor coffee – no problem.
  • Easy clean up.
  • Less waste of coffee and water – not to have to make a pot when you just want just a cup.
CONS
  • Plastics pods are not environmentally friendly.
  • Please use certified compostable pods where possible.
  • Please use a reusable pod where available.
  • It’s more expensive to make a single-serve for 8 people versus making a pot of coffee for eight.

Our selection criteria for the top pick single-serve coffee makers:

  • Simple to use
  • Speedy brew time
  • Easy to clean
  • Makes a great cup of coffee every time
  • Options to use recyclable coffee capsule/pods
  • Extra – multiple brew sizes for travel mug and carafe.

Which single-serve coffee maker is right for you?

It depends on what you are looking for:

  • Do you want multiple brew size, for example: 4oz., 6 oz., 8 oz. and 10 oz.?
  • Do you want an option of single serve and carafe (22 oz., 26 oz., or 30 oz.)?
  • Do you want a built-In Frother?
  • Does it need to fit the design and color of your kitchen appliances?
  • What is your budget? What to expect for $30, $50, $100, $150 coffee maker?

Our top choices of single-serve coffee maker:

Rank Single Serve Product Score Check Price
1 Keurig K250 Coffee Maker, Single Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Brewer, With Strength... keurig-k250-single-serve-coffee-maker 9.9 View on Amazon
2 Keurig K-Classic Coffee Maker, Single Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Brewer, 6 to 10 oz. Brew... keurig-K55-classic-single-serve-coffee-maker 9.8 View on Amazon
3 Hamilton Beach Scoop Single Serve Coffee Maker, Fast Brewing, Stainless Steel... hamilton-beach-49981A-single-serve-coffee-maker 9.5 View on Amazon
4 Hamilton Beach 2-Way Brewer Coffee Maker, Single-Serve and 12-Cup Pot, Stainless... hamilton-beach-49980A-single-serve-coffee-maker-pot 9.5 View on Amazon
5 Keurig K575 Coffee Maker, Single Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Brewer, Programmable Brewer,... keurig-k575-single-serve-coffee-maker 9.3 View on Amazon
6 Ninja Single-Serve, Pod-Free Coffee Maker Bar with Hot and Iced Coffee, Auto-iQ,... Ninja-Coffee-Bar-Single-Serve-System 9.0 View on Amazon

1. Keurig K250 Single-Serve Programmable Coffee Maker

If Elle Woods from Legally Blonde is to have a single serve coffee maker at Delta Nu, this Keurig K250 would have been the lucky coffee maker in her room. Look at the sleek design and the beautiful color.


keurig-k250-single-serve-coffee-maker

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Who is this Keurig K250 Single-Serve Programmable Coffee Maker made for?

Assuming Elle Woods has this coffee maker,

  • Elle would have a choice to brew 4 oz., 6 oz., 8 oz., and 10 oz. coffee – and choose from hundreds of K-Cup pod varieties she likes.
  • She has a choice to use My K-Cup® reusable coffee filter to minimize environmental impact, and brew any ground coffee she fancies.
  • When she has sorority sisters hanging out in her room, she would choose the K-Carafe brew size and make 30 oz. for four cups of hand-crafted coffee.

Why Keurig K250 Single-Serve Programmable Coffee Maker is our top pick?

  • This beautiful design is both contemporary and retro with those irresistible colors. This model has the oasis color we just love. You can choose other colors of white, red, blue, black and metallic.
  • Simple to use – an easy-to-use touch screen for stress free brewing experience every time.
  • Save time to refill the water chamber – with a large 40oz water reservoir, you can brew 4 Cups before having to refill.
  • Speedy brew time – less than 1 minute to brew an 8 oz. cup of coffee.
  • Flexibility to brew a cup or a carafe and any brew size in between.
  • Multiple K-Cup Pod brew sizes, 4oz, 6 oz., 8 oz., and 10 oz.
  • K-Carafe brew size 30 oz. (Carafe sold separately)
  • Brew strength control setting – you can craft your own perfect cup to your liking. Think of the fun to customize each cup by type or brand to produce bold, strong, mild, hint of this or that – making a barista-quality cup of coffee is a breeze with this Keurig K250.
  • Specialty beverage setting – feel like a cup of tea or hot cocoa, no problem, this Keurig K250 can take care of your wish!
  • Option to use My K-Cup® reusable coffee filter
  • Compact size – space efficient.

2. Keurig K55/K-Classic Single Serve Coffee Maker

Classics never go out of style – that’s a good reason that Keurig K55/K-Classic Coffee Maker has been a best-seller for years. When all you want is simple, consistent, fast and quality = you are looking at it. And, you can use The My K-Cup® Universal Reusable Filter to minimize the environmental impact.


keurig-K55-classic-single-serve-coffee-maker

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Who is this Keurig K55 Classic Single-Serve Coffee Maker made for?

  • A busy individual who just wants a single-serve cup of coffee with a touch of a button.
  • Who wants stress free – no need for choices of temperature or fancy options.
  • Who wants consistency to brew a quality cup of coffee every time.
  • Who doesn’t want to refill the water reservoir often – who wants a water chamber to brew at least 5 cups, so there’s no need to refill for 5 days to brew one cup/day.
  • Who wants access to many pod varieties.

Why we love Keurig K55 Classic Single-Serve Coffee Maker?

  • Multiple K-Cup pod brew sizes of 6, 8 and 10oz.
  • Simple to use – just use the simple icon to select 6, 8 or 10 oz. brew size of your choice.
  • Save time to refill the water chamber – The 48oz water reservoir is good to brew 6+ Cups before having to refill.
  • Removable water reservoir – makes it convenient and easy to refill and clean.
  • Fast brew – it takes only 1 minute to brew an 8-ounce cup of coffee.
  • Automatic shut off – after two-hours of non-usage.
  • Hundreds of K-Cup pod varieties from many popular coffee brands.
  • Option to use My K-Cup® reusable coffee filter.
  • Compact size – space efficiency.

3. Hamilton Beach (49981A) Single Serve Coffee Maker

Do you remember a famous Elle Woods quote in Legally Blonde – “Just bend – and – snap!”? This Hamilton Beach single serve coffee maker is “Scoop – Set – Brew”! It takes only 90 seconds to brew an eight oz. cup of coffee. And, you don’t have to buy any proprietary coffee capsules or pods. Yes, you are reading this right – you just use any ground coffee of your choice – think about the unlimited brand of coffee and flavors you can use. Ah, this model would be perfect for Paulette’s UPS guy in Legally Blonde.


hamilton-beach-49981A-single-serve-coffee-maker

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Who is this Hamilton Beach (49981A) Single Serve Coffee Maker made for?

For an individual who:

  • Wants a quick cup (8 oz.) of coffee in under 2 minutes!
  • Wants a travelling mug (14 oz.) of coffee to go – in under 3 minutes!
  • Cares about environment impact and do our part to minimize landfill.

Why we love Hamilton Beach (49981A) Single Serve Coffee Maker?

  • Budget friendly
  • Beautiful design of stainless steel/black colors that match well with stainless steel appliances and modern decor.
  • Simple to use – just three steps from scooping ground coffee to brewing coffee.
  • Compact size – takes up less counter space.
  • Speedy brew time – 90 second for 8 oz.; 2 ½ minutes for 14 oz. travelling mug.
  • Two brewing options of regular and bold strength.
  • No need to buy any proprietary coffee capsule/pods. Just use your choice of ground coffee beans.
  • Environmental friendly – no plastic pods to add to landfill.
  • Easy to clean – washable steel mesh scoop filter.
  • Makes a great cup of coffee every time.

If you like the affordable Hamilton Beach (49981A) Single Serve Coffee Maker, but you want an option to brew a pot of coffee when you have guests, then consider the Hamilton Beach (49980A) Single Serve Coffee Maker and Coffee Pot Maker.

4. Hamilton Beach (49980A) Single Serve Coffee Maker and Coffee Pot Maker

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Hamilton Beach 2-Way Brewer Coffee Maker, Single-Serve and 12-Cup Pot, Stainless...
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Hamilton Beach 2-Way Brewer Coffee Maker, Single-Serve and 12-Cup Pot, Stainless...
  • Brew two ways: Enjoy either a single-serve cup (travel mug not included) or full pot of coffee with the 12-cup carafe.
  • Fully programmable: Wake up to a hot cup of coffee with fully programmable functionality and auto-shutoff.
  • Adjusts to your cup: Can brew directly into the carafe, a travel mug (not included) or a short cup(not included)
  • Convenient single-serve: Brew a cup for one using loose, ground coffee.
  • Smart features: Includes brew strength selector (regular or bold), keep-hot warming plate and more.

5. Keurig K575 Single Serve Coffee Maker with 12oz Brew Size

This Keurig K575 Single Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Maker is expensive with many programmable functions. It is both a single serve and a full-size (30 oz.) coffee maker.


keurig-k575-single-serve-coffee-maker

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Who is this Keurig K575 Single Serve Coffee Maker made for?

For an individual who:

  • Wants to get 10 cups of coffee without having to refill the water tank.
  • Wants multiple brew cup size of 4, 6, 8 or 12 oz.
  • Wants to brew carafe size of 20 oz. and above.
  • Wants brew strength control.
  • Wants temperature control.
  • Wants design and colors to match with kitchen décor.

Why we love Keurig K575 Single Serve Coffee Maker?

  • Many control features to craft a customizable cup of coffee.
  • Multiple K-Cup and K-Mug brew sizes of 4, 6, 8, 10 or 12 oz.
  • It can brew a carafe (22, 26 or 30 oz.) of coffee using K-carafe pod – you will need to buy a carafe.
  • Easy to use – large color touch screen.
  • Brew strength control setting.
  • Five temperature settings.
  • 80-oz water reservoir – you can make 10 cups of coffee without having to refill.
  • Removable water reservoir – makes it convenient and easy to refill and clean.
  • Fast brew – it takes only 1 minute to brew an 8-ounce cup of coffee.
  • Nightlight colors to match your décor.
  • Programmable on and off automatically at set times – a convenient and energy saving feature.
  • Option to use My K-Cup® Universal Reusable Filter – you can brew your own ground coffee.

6. Ninja Coffee Bar Single-Serve System with Built-In Frother (CF112)

I recalled it was during the NFL season back in 2015, at my parents, when we saw the first generation Ninja coffee bar commercial staring the lovely Sofia Vergara.

I also remembered the fun debate (discussion) between my Dad and my uncle James – whether that Ninja coffee bar can make espresso, and how many BARs of ATM atmospheres pressure (ATM) should espresso be brewed at? The number of BARs threw around that day was 9 to 17 BARs – they agreed at 15 BARS when the half time was over.

sofia-vergara-and-ninja-coffee

Fast forward to 2018, we are now talking about the latest generation of Ninja Coffee Bar Single-Serve coffee system with Built-In Frother. This Ninja can make multiple brew size coffee and Espresso-like (not espresso) beverages – including hot and cold brew. This coffee bar will make you the barista at home and among your friends!


ninja-coffee-bar-single-serve-system

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Who is this Ninja Coffee Bar Single-Serve System made for?

  • An individual who wants a coffee station including a single-serve option.
  • Who wants multiple brew settings.
  • Who wants multiple brew sizes.
  • Who appreciates innovation of technology.
  • Who wants to craft a barista quality cup of coffee and expresso-style beverages (not Expresso).
  • Who wants a Frother feature.
  • Who wants to make both hot and cold brew.

Why we love Ninja Coffee Bar Single-Serve System with Built-In Frother?

  • Innovative. A super creative and multi-purpose coffee system.
  • Environmental friendly – pod free.
  • No proprietary capsule/pod – use ground coffee of your choosing.
  • Four brew settings:
    • Classic Brew – smooth and balance
    • Rich Brew – creates a more intense flavor of coffee so not to lost in heavy creamers or flavoring
    • Café Forte – creates a full-bodies cup of coffee to highlight coffee’s distinctive nuances
    • Special Brew – creates super concentrated coffee to integrate with frothed milk, hot or cold.
  • Four custom brew sizes – cup, XL cup, travel mug and XL multi-serve.
  • You get lots for the money, these items are included in the package:
    • Ninja XL™ Hot & Cold Multi-Serve Tumbler.
    • Built-In hot and cold Frother.
    • 40-Recipe Inspiration Guide
    • Ninja Smart™ Scoop
    • Permanent Reusable Filter – environmental friendly.
    • Removable Water Reservoir
  • Simple to use – all four brew types are displayed in the front. Get your ground coffee into the reusable filter, place it in its holder, select your brew type, it’s as easy as that.
  • Patented “advance thermal flavor extraction technology” – tested and loved by many Ninja owners that it does an excellent job to unlock full flavor of ground coffee.
  • Ninja’s Auto-iQ one-touch intelligence technology – calculates the appropriate measure of water ratio to brew type of your choosing.

Conclusion

Pod or Pot or Pod+Pot – the choice is yours. You won’t go wrong with any of the above single serve coffee makers – because each top-pick above holds true to “convenient, cost effective, quality” – you get a perfect cup of coffee every time without a trip to a specialty coffee house.

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